In the latest sign of his national traction, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the runaway winner of a head-to-head poll against Texas’ Governor … in the state of Texas.
The poll, conducted by CWS Research between Feb. 5 and Feb. 7, includes the helpful headline “DeSantis crushes Greg Abbott with Texas Primary voters.”
In response to the question of who these Republicans would choose in the 2024 Republican presidential Primary if former President Donald Trump does not run, GOP voters in the Lone Star State chose DeSantis over Abbott, 46% to 13%.
The survey found 23% of respondents weren’t sure who they would choose, while 18% would prefer another candidate.
The polling is the latest illustration of a trend in surveys showing DeSantis is firmly established as the party’s leading alternative to former President Trump in the 2024 GOP nomination race.
A CNN poll on the 2024 contest released Monday showed only about half of Republicans now want Trump to run again. While 60% of the voters who don’t want a Trump comeback bid say that they just want someone else, DeSantis is the preference of 21%.
No other potential name got more than 1% as a Trump alternative.
The story told by national polls is echoed in more granular surveys, including of voters in the Sunshine State. A hypothetical head-to-head 2024 Primary between Trump and DeSantis would be a single-digit statewide spread, says one recent survey. A poll of a single congressional district, meanwhile, suggested DeSantis’ support is even more enduring.
Speculation has swirled about a potential faceoff between Trump and DeSantis, who was an obscure Congressman before the former’s President’s endorsement catapulted him to the Governor’s mansion.
DeSantis reportedly has refused to preemptively endorse another Trump term in 2024, allegedly saying it would be “too much to ask,” which reportedly is a problem for Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump has said DeSantis would never run against him, and if the Governor did, Trump would win by “a lot.”